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Hello,

It looks like I will have more hives than I first had planned for. I am not expecting a large surplus of honey this year as I will be a new beekeeper, but the following year will hopefully be different.

I had planned on giving surplus honey away to friends and family. However, I may have some for sale at some point. I will probably have less than 400lbs of honey. This is just a guess. I plan to just be a hobby beekeeper.

What permits and/or licenses do I need to sell honey in Ohio?

Thanks,
Nick
 

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Hi Nick!

There's no such thing as "just a hobby beekeeper!" Man, you're a beekeeper! The only difference among beeks is the quantity of hives... and of course their determination to be, or not be, good beekeepers.

Now, until someone from Ohio chimes in, and I'm not admitting to anything, mind you :shhhh: But I've known folks until they got their operation up to 750 pounds or more, they simply get those Avery labels from local office supply store, print a bunch up for quart and pint jars, and let folks in town know they have honey for sale. They usually sell out 2-400 pounds in a few months... Taxes and government forms come later. Of course, all that changes if you wholesale to a local store.

You might find you can design your own label with a good photo program and word processing program on your computer, and print them out on your color printer, cheaper than you can buy them printed. Especially when it comes to making weight changes between pints, quarts, etc etc. Nothing quite sets a product apart as a custom label! Take time to play around, you might be surprised at what you devise! Good luck, and have fun!
Steven
 

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The labeling laws will likely be your biggest headache. (and I see mislabeled honey all the time.)

From what I understand, the label must state:

Name of beekeeper producer/packer
Town, state and zip
Honey (Raw, wildflower or special floral source)
Weight in BOTH standard and metric. Bottles less than 3 pounds are to be labeled in ounces and grams. Containers 3 pounds and larger are to be labeled in both pounds and kilograms. (I see hobby packed honey all the time which only has weight in ounces.)

If your local health department tries to get you to get inspected for any license, tell them to get lost because they have no jurisdiction over honey bottling. (The health department is just looking for money.) The Department of Agriculture Food Safety is over honey bottling. I talked to a local guy who sells quite a bit of honey the other day - the health department was hassling him. He bottles honey in his kitchen - the Ag Food Safety guy inspected and passed him. The Ag guy said he would talk to the health department and the local honey packer hasn't heard anything more from the health department. (The Dept of Ag Food Safety inspector likes to see stainless equipment.)

I'm thinking you have to sell over $5,000 a year (or is it 5,000 pounds of honey?) before you have to worry about getting any inspections.
 

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I have researhed this heavily. In ohio if you produce honey,mapel syrup, or sorgum you are considered a "cottage food operation" and therefor don't have to get inspections. What contryboy said is true. ouces/grams. Two ways of contact. Ussaully address and phone number.
 

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Go to the "Ohio Department of Agricuture" web site. Get your answers there and forget all the BS. You can also download the "Application for Apiary Registration". The Ohio State web site also has some good solid information. From your posts are you a lawyer or what?
 

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Well I'm not from Ohio but, 400 lbs is a relatively small amount. Label it with your name and contact info and the weight. If anyone official has a problem with that they'll contact you and help you with any regulations you need to follow. I don't see them throwing you in the slammer :).

Treat it like any other hobby, you're expenses will out pace your profits so I wouldn't worry about getting an accountant to do your books.
Oh, and have fun. that's what hobbies are supposed to be :popcorn:.
 
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